Ward Churchill (search) may be getting big money to go away: that is the subject of this evening's "Talking Points Memo."
A report in "The Denver Post" today says the University of Colorado may pay Churchill to leave the college, which would set off an outcry if taxpayer money is involved. A decision is expected earlier next week. Legal experts say Churchill can't simply be fired for his traitorous statements. He's protected by tenure and the First Amendment. He can, however, be dismissed for "falling below minimum standards of professional integrity."
Now it seems a strong case could be made that Churchill's scholarship is based on nothing more than insane rantings, and that his copying of another person's paintings and selling them is well beyond any academic standard.
But "Factor" sources close to the investigation believe that high-ranking officials at C.U. have a lot to lose if Churchill begins speaking out against the university. Apparently there are many closets inhabited by skeletons in Boulder, Colorado. So the thinking is C.U. will buy them off.
This is a landmark case in the U.S.A.: There's no question Churchill's a traitor. — A man who feels violent acts against America are justified.
But as the ACLU (search) has made very clear, his right to express that vile opinion is protected. And Churchill will file a massive lawsuit if he's dismissed for speech.
"Talking Points" has said all along that Churchill should not be fired simply for speech, no matter how insane. That would set a dangerous precedent and would give the radical professor martyr status. But clearly the man has brought disrepute to the university and his value as an educator has greatly diminished.
In the end, Churchill's going to lose, but not as much as the University of Colorado, which deserves to break bats for promoting a guy like this. There are 52,000 students at the university. —Many of them, embarrassed and angry.
Now America is a divided country at the wrong time in history. Islamic fascists are trying to kill us. There's no question about that. And they have some sympathy on campuses, Churchill, and in the media. And that's the main reason this Churchill story is worth your attention and our effort.
The final act in this awful display is just days away.
And that's "The Memo."
The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day
Time now for "Most Ridiculous Item of the Day"...
I don't know an iPod from a pea pod, but we're giving one away on billoreilly.com on Friday. I'm not exactly sure why we're doing this, but it might be because we're great guys.
So, while you're signing on for the iPod drawing, please vote in our poll. Make a prediction: [I'll say it again,] make a prediction! Do you believe Ward Churchill (search) will be fired by the University of Colorado? Not bought off. Not scolded. Fired.
Now, so far, the predictions from "Factor" viewers and listeners have all come true. So think this one out. If the poll is wrong, it would be very ridiculous. Let's keep the streak.
I—You can watch Bill O'Reilly's "Talking Points Memo" and "Most Ridiculous Item" weeknights at 8 and 11 p.m. ET on the FOX News Channel. Send your comments to: email@example.com
Bill O'Reilly currently serves as the host of FOX News Channel's (FNC) The O'Reilly Factor (weekdays 8PM/ET), the most watched cable news show for the past 13 years. He joined the network in 1996 and is based in New York. Click here for more information on Bill O'Reilly.